New Beginnings and Old Memories


Kathryn Hudnell

Illustration By Elliot Burr

Just like that, it’s March again. This past year has been a crazy one for everybody.

 Last March I was feeling frustrated with everything around me. The lack of control I seemed to have over my own life was challenging to say the least. I had high expectations for what my first year of college would hold and getting sent home from campus early derailed most of my plans. 

Through a lot of lonely days spent thinking, I eventually came to accept my new circumstances. Even with that acceptance, the warmer months weren’t always enough to keep my headspace totally positive. Now, I’m feeling far more hopeful.

During the winter I tend to float through life. Most of my activity has to do with exercising myself mentally. My class work typically fills up my schedule as I imagine it does for most people. This doesn’t leave much room for anything else. 

Once it gets warm out, however, I begin prioritizing my time differently. I try to do as much of my schoolwork outside as I can and physically exercise more. This always makes me feel calmer. Remembering that there’s a whole world beyond the walls of my house helps me stay motivated. In the winter I try to remind myself of this, but the fresh air always breathes life into the idea.

As the sun shines brighter, I always feel a weight come off of my shoulders. I look forward to seeing the dew on the grass sparkle in the morning instead of snow. As much as I enjoy the spring and summer, I will eventually be excited for September and the cooler temperatures too. 

Winter sunrises still have my heart over summer sunsets. The cycle the seasons form keeps a balance in my life. I have time to actively explore and time to be still while focusing on myself. In the summer, I feel loud and energized without even trying. I am able to easily keep busy with different activities. The warmer months are when I want to make something new to share. The air is a warm comfort every day. 

The winter is a different story. During this time, I feel driven to think. With my entertainment options more limited it helps me concentrate solely on my own thoughts. My energy goes toward creating progress within myself instead of actively producing anything physical. This is a time where I check in on my goals and try to appreciate new lessons I’ve learned. Once the snow really gets started, the world feels soft despite the sharp, cold winds. Sounds dull and I draw my energy from the cool air instead of the warming sun. 

I know that there are days in each season that I feel ready for a change, especially last March as the shutdown began, but I work to remind myself that appreciating the moment will have a greater impact on me than dreaming only about what the future could hold. 

Where do we go from here? I think most people can agree they are no longer who they were this time last year. I would encourage everyone to work on getting to know this new person they’ve become. Write a letter congratulating yourself on making it through a rough year. Look at a picture of yourself from that time and notice how now your eyes look more determined, your shoulders stronger and your back straighter, because you got through 2020. Now, we are going to use the lessons we learned then to face anything, while also taking the time to enjoy this warmer weather.